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SICA Environment Ministers discuss climate change action plan for the region

Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018. 1:05 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: In taking office today of the Pro Tempore Presidency (PTP) of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) (the environmental branch of the Central American Integration System (SICA)), the Belize Minister of  Environment and Sustainable Development, Omar Figueroa, together with his counterparts from Central America and Dominican Republic announced a bolstering of actions to decrease the effects of climate change in the region.

According to a release from the Government of Belize Press Office, the announcement was made in the context of the 61st Regular Session of the Council of Ministers of this regional body, with the attendance of Environmental Ministers and Vice Ministers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Dominican Republic.

Below are details of the priorities of the PTP-CCAD/Belize for the second semester of 2018:

  1. Build up inter-sectorial coordination (Tourism, energy, water and climate change, and comprehensive risk management) within the framework of the Regional Climate Change Strategy (ERCC) that will contribute to strengthening the coordination between the SICA subsystems.
  2. Drive forward the process for the preparation of regional positions for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) and of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 14), to ensure compliance within the ERCC-SICA framework.
  3. Advance initiatives to restrict or prohibit the use of plastics in the SICA region that will help reduce marine contamination.
  4. Bring back the concept of biological corridors and the identification of habitats for the conservation of key species, such as jaguars and other large-sized cats, including also imposing greater sanctions.

Omar Figueroa, the Pro-Tempore President of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development, noted that “Central America and the Dominican Republic is a tropical region vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”

He further added that the region is experiencing a historical challenge derived from climate variability, the bad distribution of rainfall, and drought.

The Minister also indicated that the “critical importance of this project is to provide an urgent solution to adapt to climate change, increase sustainable development in the region and reduce emigration.”

The signing of the agreement between the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and UN Environment was also carried out within the framework of the CCAD Ministerial meeting, in order for UN Environment to prepare the project proposal for CCAD.

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